Kool Smiles Kicks Off Operation Troop Treats This Halloween

Dentistry Today


The Halloween candy that children collect could play a trick on their teeth due to tooth decay. However, it could be a treat for American military personnel serving overseas. Since 2012, Kool Smiles has collected more than 8 tons of donated candy and sent a thousand care packages to servicemen and servicewomen through Operation Troop Treats. To date, Kool Smiles states, it is the largest candy exchange program run by an American dental provider.

“Operation Troop Treats is our way of encouraging children and parents to maintain healthy dental habits this Halloween while also bringing a little joy to US service members deployed overseas who are not able to celebrate with family here at home,” said Kool Smiles chief dental officer Dale Mayfield, DDS.

All Kool Smiles offices will participate in the program during business hours from Friday, October 28 to Saturday, November 5. Children who bring in 25 pieces of unopened candy in its original intended packaging can receive a free toy in exchange. There is a limit of 3 toys per child, and toys will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The program is open to everyone, and participants do not have to be Kool Smiles patients.

“Good dental health is especially important around Halloween when there’s plenty of sugar-filled sweets floating about,” said Mayfield. “We want to make trick-or-treating fun—just without the cavities!”

Kool Smiles also is donating 200 dental care kits for troops to Operation Gratitude as well as the funds to cover their assembly and shipment. Operation Gratitude is a volunteer nonprofit organization that produces more than 200,000 care packages for American service personnel serving in harm’s way and their children as well as for new recruits, those wounded in service, veterans, and first responders.

“We are thrilled that Kool Smiles is continuing its Operation Troop Treats program for the fifth year,” said Operation Gratitude founder Carolyn Blashek. “It’s wonderful to see so many children giving up their candy to help put smiles on the faces of our servicemen and women deployed overseas. Kool Smiles’ additional donations of dental care kits and funds to Operation Gratitude are deeply appreciated and go a long way in boosting troop morale.”

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